Pope, the Sierra Club's longtime head based in California, yielded the role of executive director last year and says today he will resign as chairman. The Los Angeles Times broke the news. Pope, an official for 18 years and a member for 38, will remain affiliated with the club for another year, but his departure is being treated as a break from the Sierra Club's moderate past — membership has been declining — and a shift toward a more activist organization. "We have different approaches," said Michael Brune, who succeeded Pope as executive director last year. Brune will keep the same title and be the club's top official, a spokesman emails. From Pope's resignation letter:
In December, I shall stand down as Chairman to undertake a new initiative. My hope is to pull together a broad front of environmental groups, labor unions, clean-economy innovators, mainline manufacturers, civil rights organizations, and state and local officials to insist that candidates for public office in 2012 address the role of innovation, clean technology, and manufacturing in rebuilding the American economy and restoring the American middle class.
Updated to fix Brune's title.